It’s not very often we get to say this but: Grab every bottle of Jim Beam Distiller’s Cut you come across. It’s a great tasting bourbon at a double-take price point, and we’ve been enjoying it for weeks already.
What’s so special about Distiller’s Cut? It’s not the age (5 to 6r years is nice but not impressive), nor is it the proof point (a standard 100, but without the bottled-in-bond title). What makes this bottle great is Beam‘s decision to skip one of our least favorite processes: chill filtration.
Chill filtration is a give-and-take process, and it’s important to know what’s going on, so let’s get science-y for a moment.
Essentially, a soon-to-be-bottled whiskey is cooled to extremely low temperatures so that certain compounds within it freeze. The whiskey is then passed through a really, really dense filter and those frozen, out-of-suspension particles (fatty acids, proteins, esters) are left behind.
The process is great for making the whiskey look clear, which customers expect—if a non-chill filtered whiskey is left in a hot place for too long, it can separate and turn cloudy, and generally, people won’t want to drink it.
You’ve probably noticed this yourself—the sudden clouding of whiskey in your glass after it’s been sitting in ice for a few minutes (cold does it too), or the cloudiness you see in a glass of whiskey left out overnight by a guest (so does evaporation).
So distillers get rid of that stuff because it makes sure that a bottle will look pretty on a bar shelf for a long time, and that customers won’t return perfectly drinkable whiskey they bought at the liquor store.
The problem is that those fatty acids and other compounds that get axed make a better whiskey. They add texture, flavor and a whole lot of good things, and processing them out can make a whiskey feel incomplete.
Distiller’s Cut is not incomplete. It has great texture, flavor, and it’s well aged. It smacks of tons of caramel and vanilla, with hints of dried cherry and apple.
This is the closest thing we’ve had to the actual straight-from-the-barrel tasting experience from Jim Beam, aside from Booker’s, which can cost about three times as much.
The best part, however, is the price. This is a staggeringly good bourbon for about $23 dollars (we’ve seen a few places selling it under $20). We’re not sure if it will unseat your favorite affordable bourbon, but if you don’t buy it, we will.
Seriously, we’ve already stocked up. Jim Beam is releasing a limited supply of Distiller’s Cut, and while it’s possible that will be on-going, buying a half case of this for the price of a single bottle of other bourbons on the market is really a no-brainer.